The Amazon Broadband project ready to take off

An Amazon logo appears on an Amazon delivery van, October 1, 2020, in Boston. Amazon has struck deals with three rocket companies to help launch communications satellites which the online retail giant says will help bring fast, affordable broadband to millions of underserved people around the world . “Kuiper Project.”

AP Photo/Steven Senne, File

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Amazon has struck deals with three rocket companies to help launch communications satellites that the online retail giant says will help bring fast, affordable broadband to millions of underserved people around the world.

Seattle-based Amazon said Tuesday that Arianespace, United Launch Alliance and Blue Origin will combine for up to 83 launches over the next five years, deploying the majority of Amazon’s 3,236 Earth satellites that will be used for what Amazon calls “Project Kuiper”. ”

No financial details were given.

Both Amazon and Blue Origin were founded by Jeff Bezos, who soared into space with a Blue Origin rocket last summer. Blue Origin has signed on for 12 launches, with options for up to 15 more.

Arianespace is the European space consortium that launched NASA’s $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope in December. Amazon has signed a contract for 18 launches of its new Ariane 6 rocket that will put satellites into orbit.

Arianespace hailed the deal as the largest ever, although it did not give a monetary value.

“The fact that Amazon chose Ariane 6 to do the job is a huge source of pride for us and a great vote of confidence for our new launcher. Today marks a decisive success for the Ariane 6 program,” said Stéphane Israël, CEO from Arianespace.

Amazon has signed a contract for 38 launches with Colorado-based United Launch Alliance.

Amazon has 1,000 employees working on Project Kuiper, which when deployed will be able to serve tens of millions of residential, business and government customers in locations without reliable broadband.

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